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Novel’s Interview With TEDxUniversityofStrathclyde

21 April 2021

If you’re looking to meet new people at University, follow a passion and take a much-needed break from your studies – then we recommend you join one of your University’s societies.

Joining a university society group means that you are instantly part of a student community, a group full of fun, support and friendship – something everyone should experience at University.

Similarly, at Novel Student, we are looking to create communities of healthier, happier students at our properties- a place where you belong, feel comfortable and at home. With these comparables  in mind, it only made sense that we partnered with societies in our local Cities, sponsoring several student societies across Edinburgh, Glasgow and Sheffield in order to show our support to these ever-growing happy communities!

Today, we are very excited to introduce our partnership with TEDxUniversityofStrathclyde. A Society who hold events which brings together experts, leaders and instigators of change. They share powerful and thought provoking talks from some of the most brilliant minds today, promising to leave you inspired no matter what your interest.

Malik, the lead organiser of TEDx has kindly answered a few questions about this society, as well as student life in Glasgow.

Like what you’ve heard? Don’t forget to follow them on Instagram and Facebook or, even better, get inspired yourself by signing up to their Society here!

What made you choose to study at the University of Strathclyde?

For me, coming from a background in Aerospace Engineering and having worked in industry, I wanted to undertake a PhD at an institution that was world-renowned for its Faculty of Engineering. I was keen to bring my years of industrial experience with Airbus and couple it with cutting-edge research and that is why I chose to study at the University of Strathclyde.

What tips do you have for any new students arriving in the City in September?

Glasgow is such a vibrant and dynamic city! It has so many places to explore so one of the first things I would recommend doing would be to get to know the city. I would also make time to travel to see some of the amazing scenery Scotland has – the city has so many tours you can book.
Check out one of Novel Student other blogs which explores the 7 reasons why you should study in Scotland here.

What do you enjoy most about living in Glasgow?

Everyone is incredibly friendly. The student community is so supportive, and I think one of the most enjoyable things about living in the city is that you feel welcome wherever you go!
Find out more about Glasgow here.

Can you tell us a bit about TEDxUniversityofStrathclyde and the events you run?

I have been leading this society for two years and I have enjoyed every minute of it. The society aims to host our Annual Ideas Conference, our flagship event on campus – a day packed with inspiring stories, ideas, and amazing speakers. In 2020 we successfully delivered the conference just as the pandemic struck. Now, we have had 12 months to carefully plan our 2021 event and it is going to be our most spectacular conference to date! Most people are familiar with TED talks, and we host our own TEDx event, bringing 12 international speakers to the City of Glasgow to deliver the ideas they have that are worth sharing. Last year’s theme was ‘Everything Connected’ and this year we have an amazing theme which we will be able to share with our global community very soon! We also run smaller Salon events throughout the year which are like mini-conferences where the theme is more focused rather than a multidisciplinary approach.


How did you initially find out about TEDxUniversityofStrathclyde?

I have watched TED talks for many years and as soon as I discovered that the University of Strathclyde had a TEDx society, I was keen to be involved and quickly took on the role of project manager.


How did you become part of the Society?

I got in touch with the group through the Strathclyde Student’s Union and met up with existing members to find out which projects I could get involved with and quickly ended up leading on the organisation of the 2020 Annual Ideas Conference.

How do you balance your society role and studying?

It takes a lot of time management and coordination to strike a good balance between my research and my role as Lead Organiser of a large-scale conference and a large group of people. I have an incredibly supportive team and we have a great group dynamic, so it makes it easier for me to manage both sets of commitments.


What do you like most about being part of a society?

We have a team of over 50 students actively working with us this year and I interviewed every one of them. It was a pleasure getting to know them and they make being part of this society incredibly engaging.


Provide us with your top/ most persuasive reason for why students should join TEDxUniversityofStrathclyde?

We are a diverse and committed group of students from all levels and subjects of study. We work towards our shared goal of organising our Annual Ideas Conference which is globally recognised. I would encourage all students to consider working with us because you not only get to meet some fantastic speakers who have inspiring ideas, but you also develop professionally and personally, complementing your studies. You get as much out of TEDx University of Strathclyde as you put into it and we have several dedicated members who excelled in their roles within the team.


Has being part of a society inspired your career path?

I think being part of TEDx University of Strathclyde has complemented my career path. It has allowed me to professionally develop my leadership skills beyond those that the university has taught me. This entire experience has been invaluable and has helped to direct me towards other leadership roles.


Would you encourage other students to join a society, if so, how do they do this?

Extra-curricular activities are essential to ensuring you leave university with more than a degree. They provide so many opportunities to develop the transferrable skills that are not typically taught. Throughout my entire university career, I have been involved with societies at both Bristol and Strathclyde and they have all helped to drive me further towards my ambitions by complementing my studies and allowing me to gain a deeper understanding of what skills I will need when I craft a career path for myself. You can join the society very easily by signing up to the Students Union society web page.


How is TEDxUniversityofStrathclyde different from other university societies?

I would say that we are perhaps more of a professional society and have several teams that work both independently and together to achieve both short term and long-term goals. We provide real opportunities to develop team working, negotiation skills for example when speaking with external partners and digital communication skills throughout numerous social media channels and our website content management. Our overall goal is to host a conference and we provide hands-on experience in events management too! We are committed to allowing people to develop the skills they need and providing the environment in which they can flourish.


What has been your biggest achievement or best moment at TEDxUniversityofStrathclyde so far?

I would say my biggest achievement was hosting the 2020 conference the day before the university announced it was closing before the first lockdown! It was a hugely stressful day but an incredibly rewarding experience overall.


What has been your best speaker/ talk so far?

All of our speakers we have had at the University of Strathclyde have been fantastic – I’m not sure I could choose my favourite! However, my favourite TED talk overall has to be Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s ‘How craving attention makes you less creative’. I thought it was a brilliant talk with a positive message and I would thoroughly recommend everyone watch it!


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